After yesterday’s day off (despite it raining) I was feeling pretty fresh. It had been fairly cold overnight with a nice layer of frost and a morning temperature of a degree or two above freezing. The Zpacks Solplex had stood up to the rain with no issues, though having a bear locker (campground) meant that I had my rucksack well undercover.
Most of the day would be pretty flat and my general speed reflected the terrain. I was averaging above 2mph and feeling pretty good. I had time to relax and sit on a rock! The canyon is quiet and pretty special.
The trail climbs slowly over around 10/11 miles, gaining less the 100m, before a steep end to the day. Up until this point I had felt good but yet again as soon as the path got reasonably steep I found myself running out of ‘power’ very easily. I was again reduced to walking a few metres, having a breather then carrying on.
The last mile and 200 metres of ascent probably took an hour. I had 2 options to camp at the Upper Lyell fork crossings, my pace and how I was feeling dictated that I stopped at the lower one. Ideally I would have carried on around another 100m higher, just to make the next day’s assault (!) on Donahue Pass slightly easier.
The camping sport was just after a wooden bridge crossing the Lyell creek. It was a well-used popular spot but it was still easy to find a secluded spot. I took around an hour to rest before sorting out my gear and tent. Boy I was knackered!